General Practice
   •  Medicine
   •  Surgery
   •  Oncology
   •  Cardiology
   •  Dermatology
   •  Neurology
   •  Behaviour
   •  Emergency & Critical Care
   •  Ophthalmology
   •  Anaesthesia
   •  Imaging
Nurses & Admin


Associate Professor Vanessa Barrs – Head of Small Animal Medicine
BVSc (hons), PhD MVetClinStud, MANZCVSc (Small Animal), FANZCVSc (Feline), GradCertEd
Associate Professor
Registered Feline Medicine Specialist
Head of Small Animal Medicine

Associate Professor Vanessa Barrs is Head of Small Animal Medicine at the University of Sydney and is a registered Specialist in Feline Medicine. Vanessa has directed the busy feline referral service at the Valentine Charlton Cat Centre since 2004 and loves nothing more than helping sick cats get better. She has particular expertise in respiratory and endocrine disease of cats and is an internationally renowned infectious diseases researcher. Her research is focused on infectious pathogens at the human-animal interface, including Aspergillus fungal infections in humans, cats, dogs and birds; parasitic diseases including lungworm and toxoplasmosis and parvoviruses of cats and dogs. Vanessa is President of the International Society of Companion Animal Infectious Diseases and is Scientific Editor for The Veterinary Journal. Vanessa lectures frequently to veterinarians nationally and internationally and has authored over 90 refereed publications and book chapters.

Professor Julia Beatty – Feline Medicine Specialist
BSc (hons), BVetMed PhD FANZCVSc (feline med) GradCertEd (Higher Ed) MRCVS
Professor of Feline Medicine

Julia Beatty’s career has been devoted to improving the health of cats. Jules graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London and worked for the RSPCA before completing a PhD on feline immunodeficiency virus at the University of Glasgow. She is an RCVS registered Specialist in Feline Medicine and is currently Professor of Feline Medicine. She works with a team of residents and interns on the feline medicine service at the Valentine Charlton Cat Centre.  In addition to her work in the clinic, Jules heads a team of clinical researchers developing new treatments and prevention strategies for infections and other diseases of our pets. A major goal is to identify cancer-causing viruses with the long term aim of developing vaccines against some cancers for pets. Her group’s research is published widely and she has contributed to many text books. 

Dr Lara Boland – BVSc MANZCVS (feline medicine) DipECVIM-CA
Specialist in Small Animal Medicine

Lara graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004 and initially worked in feline and general small animal practice in Brisbane and Canberra. She has completed internships in small animal/emergency medicine at the Animal Referral Hospital, Sydney and the University of Bristol, UK. In 2008 she completed Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists membership examinations in feline medicine. Lara commenced an International Cat Care sponsored residency in small animal medicine in 2010 at the University of Bristol. She returned home to Australia in 2013 and completed the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine specialist examinations in 2015. Lara has always been fascinated by all things feline including endocrine, urinary tract and geriatric diseases of cats.

Dr Christine Griebsch – Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine                               Dr. med. vet. DECVIM-CA (Small Animal)

Christine graduated at the Justus-Liebig University Giessen in Germany in 2003. She then started an Internship and a Residency of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ECVIM-CA) at the Free University Berlin, Germany. During her Residency she finished her doctoral thesis about immune mediated hemolytic anemia in dogs. In 2009 she went to a private practice before returning to Justus-Liebig University in 2011. In 2010 Christine became a specialist of internal Medicine for Small and Companion Animals and since 2012 she is a Diplomate of the European college of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ECVIM-CA). She joined Sydney University in April 2013. Her main research interests are hematology and endocrinology. Christine enjoys consulting in all areas of small animal medicine.

Dr Amanda Taylor – Resident in Small Animal Medicine

Amanda grew up in far North Queensland and graduated from University of Queensland in 2007. Since graduation she increased her skills in small animal medicine by completing an internship at a private specialist centre in Brisbane and attaining Membership of the Small Animal Medicine Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. She has also worked in several small animal practices around Brisbane. Amanda is passionately interested in all aspects of small animal medicine and is undertaking residency in small animal medicine under the supervision of Dr Peter Bennett and A/Professor Vanessa Barrs.

Christine Griebsch 2.jpg

Dr Elizabeth Jenkins – Resident in Small Animal Medicine

BVSc (Hons I) PGCertVS MVS (SA Practice) MANZCVS (SA Medicine) 

Liz graduated from the University of Sydney in 2010. She started her veterinary career in general practice, working with both large and small animals on the mid-north coast before moving into small animals only in Tamworth. Liz has completed a Masters of Veterinary Studies in Small Animal Practice at Murdoch University and achieved Membership to the Small Animal Medicine Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in 2016. After undertaking a rotating internship in Sydney, Liz joined our team in 2017 as a resident in Small Animal Medicine, under the supervision of Dr Christine Griebsch and Dr Peter Bennett. Liz is particularly interested in infectious diseases and neurology. She is the proud owner of two gorgeous and very spoilt Labradors, Daphne and Wilson.

Dr Matteo Bordicchia – Resident in Small Animal Medicine


DVM, MSc, MANZCVS (small animal medicine), MRCVS                               

Dr Bordicchia is a DVM graduate from Italy. After a few years of experience working with horses, he started developing his interest in small animal medicine. He was granted a scholarship to spend 6 months at the Eccole Veterinarie in Toulouse before completing a one –year internship in Sweden.
 On his return to Italy he worked in several private practices before joining a small animal veterinary clinic as a partner. He worked in his own clinic for several years during which he completed an international master’ s degree in diagnostic imaging. In Sydney, he worked as primary care vet at the UVTHS during which he further developed his interest and knowledge in small animal medicine. In 2017, he attained the Membership of the Small Animal Medicine Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.  He is currently undertaking a PhD investigating feline virulent Calicivirus.

Surgery Staff

Professor Kenneth A Johnson – Clinical Professor of Orthopaedics
MVSc PhD FACVSc Diplomate ACVS and ECVS
Clinical Professor of Orthopaedics
Director of Orthopaedic Surgery

Professor Johnson returned to The University of Sydney as a Clinical Professor and Director of Orthopaedics. He has specialist qualifications in surgery as a Diplomate of American College of Veterinary Surgeons, a Diplomate of European College of Veterinary Surgery, as well as being a Fellow of Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. 

Dr Nina Lorenz – Specialist in Small Animal Surgery
BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery), MRCVS, Diplomate ECVS

Nina graduated from The University of Sydney in 2006 and began her professional career working in mixed practice. Soon after Nina moved to the US, New York to pursue further training by completing a rotating internship before returning to Sydney for a surgical internship program.

Following completion of her second internship Nina continued to work as an emergency veterinarian in different Sydney referral hospitals before packing her bags again, his time bound for the UK where she completed a residency training in small animal surgery at the University of Liverpool.

Nina has joined the University Small Animal Teaching Hospital’s surgery team in March 2016 as the senior surgical registrar. Nina’s interests are trauma management, skin reconstruction, wound management and neurological diseases.

In her free time Nina enjoys spending time with her young family, going on outdoor adventures and also has a cat, Henry who she rescued during her New York internship and who now happily lives in Australia.


Dr Laurencie Brunel – Specialist in Small Animal Surgery
Dr Med Vet, MVSc, Diplomate ECVS

Laurencie graduated from the University of Nantes, France in 2006. She then completed an rotational internship at the University of Maison-Alfort in Paris, followed by a surgical internship at the University of Lyon. In 2008, she moved to Belgium where she completed a residency in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Liège. In 2010, she obtained a Master Degree in Veterinary Sciences. After her residency, she worked as a Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Liège.  In February 2013, she was admitted as a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons.

In January 2014, she moved to Sydney and started working at the UVTHS where she enjoys being involved in both undergraduate and graduate surgical training.

Her clinical interests include endoscopic surgery (laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, arthroscopy) and urogenital surgery. 

Her research interests focus on the application of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and Stem Cells to repair and regenerate damaged tissues.

Rachel Basa
BVSc MANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery)
Resident in Small Animal Surgery

Rachel graduated from the University of Sydney in 2009 and worked in private practice for 3 and a ½ years at various clinics in Sydney including the RSPCA Yagoona. She then started a rotating internship at the University of Sydney, then a surgical internship before starting a surgical residency. She completed her memberships in small animal surgery in 2014, and completed a post graduate certificate in veterinary studies in 2015. Rachel has also been involved in a clinical study with Dr Katja Voss involving a GAITrite pressure mat. Her spare time is mostly spent with her moggy, Prince.

Dr Michelle Joffe – Resident in Small Animal Surgery

BVSc (Hon)

Michelle graduated from the University of Sydney in 2012. She spent 18 months in general practice in Sydney’s west before returning to Sydney University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for a rotating internship. Michelle enjoys the university environment and has remained at Sydney University for a surgical residency. She has always had an interest in surgery particularly neurosurgery and minimally invasive techniques. At home, Michelle enjoys the company of her cat Aurora, who she adopted as a stray from her first job in western Sydney.

Anaesthesia Staff

Dr Fernando Martinez Taboada – Specialist in Small Animal Anaesthesia – Head of Anaesthesia
LV CertVA PGCert(Biostats) DipECVAA

Fernando graduated in Spain and worked for a number of years in small animal practice and research both in Spain and the UK. He did an internship and then a residency in anaesthesia and analgesia at the University of Bristol. He obtained the Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia by the RCVS in 2007 and became a European Diplomate in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia in 2011 (ECVAA).
Over the years, Fernando has worked as anaesthesiologist at both private and university teaching hospitals in the UK and Australia (Cambridge University and the University of Sydney), and he was head of anaesthesia and analgesia at various referral hospitals in the UK. He returned in 2017 to the University of Sydney to lead the anaesthesia and analgesia service.

His areas of interest are;
• Local anaesthetics: Epidural and spinal anaesthesia, development of novel technical approaches and anaesthetic combinations, electrical and ultrasonographic nerves location, perineural and wound soaking catheters.
• Analgesia in chronic and oncological pain, including interventional pain management.
• Intensive care, especially ventilation (physiology, practical aspects, uses in anaesthesia and ICU, and equipment).

Dr Diego Rodrigo- Mocholi - Senior Veterinary Registrar in Small Animal Anaesthesia


Diego graduated from the University of Murcia (Spain) in 2007. After a rotatory internship in small animals at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Murcia he was granted with a junior scholarship in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Critical Care at the same institution. He moved in 2012 to Belgium to follow an European residency programme in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Ghent. Following he was clinical anaesthetist at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Diego has completed his PhD about the intramuscular use of Alfaxalone in cats in 2016 and actually he is working towards the title of European Diplomate in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia and Critical Care.

In May 2017, Diego joined the University of Sydney as Senior Veterinary Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia.

Dr. Mara Schier- Senior Registrar in Veterinary Anaesthesia

BSc/BVMS MANZCVS (Anaesthesia and Critical Care)

Mara graduated from Murdoch University in 2007. Following a brief stint in mixed practice in northeastern Victoria, she completed a rotating internship at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. This led to a residency in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia at Murdoch University, which was completed in 2013. She stayed on at Murdoch as an anaesthesia registrar before moving to Sydney to join the UVTHS in February 2017. She is a member of the Veterinary Anaesthesia Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. Mara enjoys all aspects of veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia, but has a particular interest in the cardiovascular effects of different drugs used during general anaesthesia. She also enjoys working with students and helping them gain practical skills and experience in anaesthesia during the final parts of their veterinary degree.

Donna White
BVSc (hons) MVS MANZCVS (Anaesthesia and Critical Care)
Veterinary Anaesthesia Resident

Donna graduated from Sydney University. After graduation she worked in general and emergency practice in Australia, UK and Canada. On returning to Australia in 2011 Donna complete her Masters in Veterinary Studies at Murdoch University and worked as an Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian at a specialist hospital for several years. She then moved into Anaesthesia and has since become a Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists Anaesthesia and Critical Care chapter. She has started her Residency in Anaesthesia at the University in 2015.

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Dermatology Staff

Dr Beth McDonald

Dr Beth McDonald is a highly qualified and experienced Veterinary Dermatologist. She holds many qualifications, including: BVSc (Hons) 1988; Master in Veterinary Studies 1993; Member, ANZCVSc in Small Animal Medicine,1994; Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology 1998 and has been a registered Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology for many years. She enjoys the challenges of clinical dermatology and supports education of both undergraduates and practicing veterinarians. Dr McDonald has particular interests in the management of allergic dermatitis in the dog and cat; responsible use of antibiotics; autoimmune skin disease and management of diseases in our geriatric pets! Dr McDonald and her technician, Vokina Ng offer a compassionate and caring service to the community and their pets.

Imaging Staff

Dr Mariano Makara – Senior Lecturer in Diagnostic Imaging Dipl. ECVDI

Dr Makara earned his veterinary degree at the University of La Plata, Argentina. In January 2005, he began a radiology internship with Ross University, School of Veterinary Medicine, under the guidance and direction of Dr. Joe Morgan where a significant part of his responsibilities included reading radiographs and performing ultrasound examinations. He then moved to the University of Zurich in Switzerland where he completed a residency program in diagnostic imaging and passed his certification exams for the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging in March 2010. Following this he was promoted to Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich where he was responsible for each of the diagnostic modalities including diagnostic radiology, ultrasound, and CT in both small and large animals.
Dr Makara has also completed externships at the University of Bern and University of Wisconsin in order to gain additional skills in MRI and Nuclear Medicine. Since January 2011 he has served as an Associate Professor at St. George’s University. 

His research interests have centred around computed tomography angiography, and he has completed research projects in thoracic computed tomography angiography contrast medium injection technique and use in diagnosis of infections with Angiostrongylus vasorum in dogs.

Dr Jennifer Chau – Specialist in Diagnostic Imaging

BVSc (Hons) MVetStud (Diagnostic Imaging) FANZCVs (Radiology)
Specialist in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging

Jennifer Chau graduated from vet school at the University of Sydney in 2007. She spent 3 years in private practice and developed an interest in ultrasound. Jennifer went onto obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Clinical Studies during her internship at the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney. This led to a 3-year Masters degree and residency program in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. Jennifer obtained Fellowship to the Veterinary Radiology Chapter of the ANZCVS in 2017. Her current PhD topic is on hepatobiliary imaging using contrast enhanced computed tomography.

Jennifer enjoys working in a veterinary teaching hospital and helping undergraduate veterinary students to achieve their learning goals. She also appreciates the opportunity to be amongst other experts in the field to engage in a multi-disciplinary approach to veterinary science.


Joanna Pilton – Resident in Diagnostic Imaging
BE (Hons) BVSc (Hons1) GradCertVetClinStud MANZCVS (SmAnMed, Radiology)

Jo graduated from The University of Sydney in 2007 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. After graduation, Jo worked in small animal private practice and with the RSPCA before travelling overseas to locum in the United Kingdom. Jo returned to the UVTHS to complete a small animal rotating internship and has since gained membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Science in small animal medicine and small animal radiology. Jo continued developing her skills and interest in diagnostic imaging whilst working as a private practice emergency clinician and with the UVTHS imaging department prior to commencing her residency and clinical Master’s degree in 2015. Jo’s is interested in all aspects of diagnostic imaging, particularly cross sectional imaging and is currently working on a research project involving contrast CT and biliary disease in cats.

Dr Timothy Foo – Resident in Diagnostic Imaging
BSc BVMS MANZCVS (Radiology)
Tim is our latest addition to the imaging family. A native of Western Australia, Tim has already achieved Australian Membership status in radiology and has a thirst for knowledge and all things radiology. Trained as a classical musician, Tim is meticulous and thorough in his approach to imaging and we look forward to working with him more as he grows into a budding radiologist. Tim is particularly interested in thoracic imaging and respiratory disease. 


Dr Juan Podadera – Registrar in Medical Imaging

Dr Podadera graduated in 1999 from La Plata University, Argentina. After being involved in Equine Practice in Australia and Argentina for 8 years and in association with the private industry and the University, Dr Podadera decided to undertake specialist radiology training.

Since 2002 most of his commitment to the profession has been attributed to equine imaging. In 2007, Dr Podadera started working with the first standing equine MRI unit in Australia and since then has been working to explore the clinical application to bring the best service to the practitioner. In 2008 Juan was involved in the development of a Nuclear Medicine facility in the UVTHC, which is currently offering services for large and small animals. In 2009, Dr Podadera started specialist training in radiology. Currently he is working in both teaching hospitals as a resident radiologist. Dr Podadera is enjoying residing in Australia and practicing with both large and small animals.
His particular interests are equine foot MRI, Nuclear Medicine and development of fusion technology for the combination of functional and morphological imaging. Juan is also passionate about building a working relationship with the practitioners. Please feel free to contact Dr Podadera on if you are seeking imaging information or advice.

Helen Laurendet – Senior Radiographer
BaApSci MedIm

Helen has been employed by the Sydney University for the last twenty years. Her prior training covers St Vincent’s Hospital and several years spent at the St George Hospital. Helen is involved in teaching both, undergraduate and postgraduate students in diagnostic imaging. Helen is largely responsible for the radiography and fluoroscopy of both clinical and research cases; as well as quality control of images.


Dr Niek Beijerink – Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Medicine
DVM PhD Dipl. ECVIM-CA (Cardiology)
Specialist in Small Animal Medicine (Cardiology)

Niek is a Utrecht (The Netherlands) graduate. After graduation in 2005 he started a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Utrecht University. Meanwhile, in 2007 he completed a PhD in canine reproductive endocrinology. Since 2010 Niek is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (sub-speciality Cardiology). Niek commenced employment at the University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital in August 2011.

Dr Mariko Yakata – PHD Candidate – Cardiology
BVSc (Hons 1) 
Small Animal Cardiology



Dr Peter Bennett – Specialist in Oncology & Internal Medicine
BVSc FANZCVS (Canine Medicine) DACVIM (Oncology, Small Animal Medicine)
Specialist in Oncology & Internal Medicine

Peter is a graduate of the University of Melbourne.  After a period working in general practice, he undertook training in small animal medicine via a non-traditional route.  His training was undertaken at Massey University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Tennessee and the University of Georgia.  He then attained Fellowship status from the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists as well as Diplomate status from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Peter then moved to Purdue University in Indiana as a clinical instructor and in his time there attained his speciality qualification in Oncology.

On his return to Australia, Peter was one of the founding specialists of the Melbourne Veterinary Specialist Centre.  He has been involved in training residents in both Small Animal Internal Medicine and Veterinary Oncology.   He is a tutor for the Centre for Veterinary Education at the University of Sydney as well as for the Masters of Veterinary Medicine program at Massey University.  

Peter has moved to the University of Sydney to establish a comparative oncology program.  To help establish collaborative research he has a part time appointment at the NHMRC clinical trials centre.  Peter is an established author in the veterinary literature and presents at national and international meetings as an invited speaker.

Peter’s main interest is in advancing the compassionate care of pets with cancer and to improve their quality of life for as long as possible.

Dr Katrina Cheng – Oncology Resident

Katrina graduated from the University of Sydney in 2011. She started working in a busy small animal general practice in Hong Kong and subsequently worked as an emergency and critical care veterinarian at referral hospitals in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. She completed a rotating internship at a private referral hospital in Melbourne focusing on medical and surgical oncology. She attained Membership of the Small Animal Radiology Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in 2015. Her strong interest in oncology brought her back to UVTHS to undertake residency training under the supervision of Dr Peter Bennett. Katrina is interested in all aspects of oncology, particularly in lymphoma and palliative treatment. She is also currently undertaking research investigating the genetic aspect of lymphoma in Australian Border Collies. 

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Georgina Child – Senior lecturer, Specialist in Veterinary Neurology

BVSc , DACVIM (Neurology)

Georgina is a graduate of the University of Sydney(1980).  After2 years in general practice  in Perth and the UK she completed  residency training in the specialty of neurology (and neurosurgery) at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California Davisin 1985 and became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialty of neurology in 1987.   She was a research associate in the Department of Clinical Studies and Biological Sciences, Colorado State University untilshe returned  with her family to Australia and has been consultingin specialist practice in Sydney since 1995. Georgina has been a consultant specialist at the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Sydney and a  lecturer  in small animal medicine  since 2008.

Georginagives regular presentations to veterinarians as part of continuing education programs throughout Australia , mentorsstudents, interns and residents in small animal practice and provides advice to many general  practitionerswith the aim of helping them provide better information  to owners regarding diagnostic and treatmentoptions for companion animals with neurologic disorders.  

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Dr Andrew O’Shea

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Emergency & Critical Care

Mara Hickey, DVM – Head Emergency and Critical Care Service

Mara has been in the field of emergency and critical care medicine since 1996, first working as a veterinary assistant, and later obtaining certification as a veterinary technician. She graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Wisconsin in 2008 and pursued additional training at a private practice emergency referral hospital as well as at the University of California at Davis. In 2014, she completed a residency in emergency and critical care at a private practice in Los Angeles. She moved to Australia in May 2015 to head the emergency and critical care service. She has published articles on septic peritonitis, renal thromboembolism and cardiac disease, and toxicity associated with a urinary acidifier. Mara's interests include trauma, electrolyte and acid-base disturbances, respiratory emergencies and mechanical ventilation, and septic shock and vasopressor use. She has a goal of conducting clinical studies which will directly help private practitioners provide excellent care for emergency patients.

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Dr Jeff Smith

Dr Cameron Whittaker

Dr Kelly Caruso

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